Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: September 3, 2011
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.
T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.
Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.
Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.
I have never read a book quite like On the Island before. I was absolutely wowed. I knew from the minute I started reading it that I would love it. It sucked me right in. Even though I ultimately knew the plot going in, there were enough plot points I didn’t expect. The journey was the most important part and it was beautiful.
I’m not going to lie, when I first read the blurb for this book, I was a little put off by the thought of the age difference. I wasn’t sure if it would be something I would be comfortable reading about. It really wasn’t an issue once I got immersed in the story, because it was handled perfectly (and legally!).
I loved Anna and T.J. They were both wonderfully complex and likable characters. The epilogue was a fantastic wrap-up to this story, but I still want more of these characters and their lives.
“I don’t fit in your world.”
“Neither do I,” he said, his expression tender yet resolute. “So let’s make our own. We’ve done it before.”